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Why are we not allowed to remember the pre existance?


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#1 ZionsRodeVos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:16 AM

I've read a lot here and have seen many of your thoughtful responses and wonder if anyone here has asked questions such as I have and if you happen to remember scriptures that helped you.

I've read the scriptures often and all the standard works more than once. Enough to know that I don't remember all I've read much less understood it all but lately I've been having questions that I have never bothered to ask before and I don't think the answers are in the scriptures, but its probably just that I don't remember it or didn't understand it as an answer.

Anyway, my first question is, why are we not allowed to remember the pre existance? I remember being taught that it is because we are here to be tested and that if we did remember then we would do everything correctly and it would not be a test. But, what bugs me about this is that all that I was in the pre existance is hidden from me and I don't know how much if any of it is influencing me now.

It seems to me that we would still have all the temptations we have now and all the distractions and so I am not so sure these would not have sway over us. But beyond that, why do we even need this test called life? Couldn't we just have come here with our memories, gotten our bodies, and continued to progress learning how it is to be mortal?

I'm thinking we all must have progressed at different rates in our premortal life and it seems that by having us forget, we are starting over. It would be such a shame for someone who had progressed a lot, to be damned here because they couldn't remember and couldn't gain the faith needed to do what is right here, when if they had remembered they would not have been damned because they would have continued to progress from the point they were at in the pre existance.

Why was it so important that we not be allowed to remember everything from our premortal life?
Robert

#2 pam

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

Much of our testing is based on faith. If we had full recollection of everything there would be no faith needed.

#3 paulh1396362268

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

I think we bring with us the strengths that we had prior to this life, whether we are conscious of them or not.

I've always understood that life is a test - and if we remembered the glory of our heavenly home and family, I don't think it would be much of a test for many of us.

#4 HiJolly

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

Ask God, and don't give up until He answers.

HJ
"All it takes is for us to get a little bit self-important and narrow-minded. Toss in a little fussiness, a bit of dogma, and a bunch of pride and you've got yourself a bunch of people who wouldn't recognize the truth if it sat on them."
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#5 LiterateParakeet

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

I think you would really enjoy the book, The God Who Weeps, by Terryl and Fiona Givens.

They give some really thoughtful and beautiful answers to your questions. I would try to recap it for you here, but I couldn't it justice, they are both smarter than I am! :D Terryl has a PhD in Comparative Literature and Fiona a Masters in European History. That background comes through beautifully in their book.

Seriously, they dedicate a whole chapter to the pre-exsistence, and another whole chapter to what happens after this life.

If you are not certain you want to buy it, get it at the library. Even if you are not in Utah (I'm not either), with Inter-library loan, they will find a book from libraries nationwide and lend it to you.

Just do it. They will take you thinking to a different place than you have been before and you will be glad for the journey.

#6 ZionsRodeVos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Much of our testing is based on faith. If we had full recollection of everything there would be no faith needed.


That brings up other questions which include why we need to live be faith.

I think we bring with us the strengths that we had prior to this life, whether we are conscious of them or not.

I've always understood that life is a test - and if we remembered the glory of our heavenly home and family, I don't think it would be much of a test for many of us.


I know I'm just using my limited ability to think here, but I don't remember ever really liking tests in school and a test that last 100 to 120 years just seems a bit too much at the moment. I question why this test is needed if it really is.

Ask God, and don't give up until He answers.

HJ


Unfortunately, I am still struggling with my faith with respect to prayer and don't seem to have enough faith I'd get an answer on such a subject.

I think you would really enjoy the book, The God Who Weeps, by Terryl and Fiona Givens.

They give some really thoughtful and beautiful answers to your questions. I would try to recap it for you here, but I couldn't it justice, they are both smarter than I am! :D Terryl has a PhD in Comparative Literature and Fiona a Masters in European History. That background comes through beautifully in their book.

Seriously, they dedicate a whole chapter to the pre-exsistence, and another whole chapter to what happens after this life.

If you are not certain you want to buy it, get it at the library. Even if you are not in Utah (I'm not either), with Inter-library loan, they will find a book from libraries nationwide and lend it to you.

Just do it. They will take you thinking to a different place than you have been before and you will be glad for the journey.


I'm not in Utah. I've made a note of this book so that I can track it down.
Robert

#7 Vort

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

That brings up other questions which include why we need to live be faith.


Because we want to develop all Godly attributes, and faith is among the foremost of Godly attributes.

I know I'm just using my limited ability to think here, but I don't remember ever really liking tests in school and a test that last 100 to 120 years just seems a bit too much at the moment. I question why this test is needed if it really is.


In this sense, "test" means "trial", not "examination". Our faith and other Godly attributes are tried, because only through trial are such attributes developed and improved.
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#8 Anddenex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

That brings up other questions which include why we need to live be faith.


Faith provides us all the opportunity to act and not be acted upon. Faith allows us an opportunity to show who we truly are as in character.

Think about children who live such righteous lives when they live at home, but when they move to college all of a sudden the right choices they made, are now no longer the choices they are making? Why?

The authority figure blessing them is no longer there. Since the veil, our minds have been blocked from total recall. This is one of the purposes of the Holy Ghost, to bring back what we already knew.

We see many of God's children, in his presence who accepted his will, kept their first estate, however when the knowledge of the authority figure is gone, their true nature is revealed.

We have the opportunity to prove our true nature, is it good...evil, or is it telestial, terrestial, or celestial.

It is our opportunity to prove to God that we are like him in glory, light and truth, or our opportunity to prove we are not. We cannot prove to God anything without these tests.

These are my initial thoughts.

#9 THIRDpersonviewer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

why do we need to live by faith? It is an attribute of God. To be like, God as is the purpose of the Plan of Salvation. We need this experience to help us develop it. I am sure we developed it before this life and can but this earthlife is probably better suited for people that rely so much on what they see. It makes it so it is faith in God that we rely on. No peeking right?

I personally dislike the test analogy. I view it more as a growing grounds. Think of being dropped from an airplane or something that hurls you and at first you are like whoa where am I, nothing makes sense, then when you orient yourself then you communicate with your limbs better to move how you would like. We are put here and at first we might be a little confused, but finding the rock of Christ will help orient you and allow you do focus your energy more effectively on what is necessary and important. All that matters in this life is whether you accept Christ as the rock and chart a course(as exemplified by how you live(not being perfect but whether you keep going in the midst of failure)) to eternal life based off that rock. If you don't then it says you rejected Him when you knew He was the rock. For those who don't know He is the rock get the opportunity to figure that out after this life.

I don't think hijolly meant that you would necessarily get the answer in the few weeks. Some answers can take years to receive. So keep praying and don't give up whether He answers tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, next century, or next millenium. You could recive it tomorow, but it doesn't matter whether you receive it or not. It does matter if you give up.

An example from my life. I served a mission 2008-2010. I had a question sometime in 2006-2007ish. I got my answer in 2011. 5 years. As long as you never give up, you will receive the answer, just whenever the Lord feels its time to give it to you.

#10 estradling75

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

It is our opportunity to prove to God that we are like him in glory, light and truth, or our opportunity to prove we are not. We cannot prove to God anything without these tests.

These are my initial thoughts.


A slight disagreement.... I do not believe that we are here to prove to God anything. I think we are here to prove to ourselves. So that when God renders judgement we are going to have understanding and agreement that the judgement is just.

Edited by estradling75, 30 January 2013 - 12:08 PM.

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#11 Anddenex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

A slight disagreement.... I do not believe that we are hear to prove to God anything. I think we are here to prove to ourselves. So that when God renders judgement we are going to have understanding and agreement that the judgement is just.


I can understand the disagreement, however I would agree with your statement also that we are also proving this to ourselves, that we are Godlike.

To back up my statement I will provide evidence from President Henry B. Eyring,

One of the purposes of mortal life is to prove to God that we will keep His commandments when that takes courage.


Brigham Young,

This is a world in which we are to prove ourselves. The lifetime of man is a day of trial, wherein we may prove to God, in our darkness, in our weakness, and where the enemy reigns, that we are our Father’s friends, and that we receive light from him and are worthy to be leaders of our children—to become lords of lords, and kings of kings—to have perfect dominion over that portion of our families that will be crowned in the celestial kingdom with glory, immortality, and eternal lives (DBY, 87).


I think these two witnesses should suffice... ;)

#12 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

Celestial beings have unique abilities that are difficult to comprehend in our current state. Knowing the greatest commandments and reflecting on the atonement of Christ we know that to be like Christ and therefore be more like our Father in Heaven we need to develop the ability of empathy, in other words to love thy neighbor as thyself. That capacity for that ability is, in part, measured by faith. How is it that Christ felt and paid for sins He did not commit? How is it that God knows our heart and our thoughts without doing it Himself? These are vicarious skills and traits that are essential to what it means to be Celestial. Lower Kingdoms care, relatively, less about others and more about their personal growth and progression. Eternal joy is possible when one can enjoy the success of others as if they had done it themselves. When our Father says that He wants to give us everything He has, I don't think it is just material possession He is talking about. How could He give to us the eternities of experience He carries with Him without us actually experiencing it ourselves? Through the same mechanisms that allowed Jesus to pay for our sins. That trait is developed through faith and loving our neighbor as our self and putting God's interests above personal ones. The test of intellectual knowledge took place as the first estate. All of us already expressed sufficient knowledge. Now we are expressing the traits that relate to self sacrifice and Christ like attributes, the ones that differentiate a Celestial being from a Terrestrial one.

#13 ZionsRodeVos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

You all have given me a lot to think about.

Does God really have faith? I may be oversimplifying, or mis remembering, but didn't Alma teach that once you gain a sure knowledge in a thing your faith is dormant which I took to mean that it was replaced by knowledge. If it is as simple as that then I would think God has no faith because he knows everything.

I can see that if it is faith we need to experience here then having the knowledge of our pre existence would prevent us experiencing faith if it is limited to being something not seen which is real. However if God does have faith and knows everything then once again I fail to see how we could not develop that same faith while having a knowledge of our pre existence.

I would think that everything else we could learn here with or without our memories of the pre existence.
Robert

#14 MorningStar

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

I have thought about this too. I think if we remembered the pre-existence, we would have a perfect knowledge. In the church, there are often greater consequences for certain sins when the member has been endowed. They are sinning with full knowledge of what they are doing wrong and after they have specifically made a covenant not to do those things. We don't receive our endowments until we are mature, have a greater understanding, and are ready to take those things on. Is it God's way of protecting us from greater condemnation?

If we had a perfect knowledge and remembered Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the whole plan, having a body would still be a huge trial and temptations would be strong. I also believe there wouldn't be a lot of growth because we would make our choices sometimes not because we really wanted to, but because we had to, like a child who follows rules unwillingly at home just because they don't want to lose privileges, not out of love for their parents.

To be in this state where we don't remember and choose on our own to seek Heavenly Father is pretty awesome.

#15 Anddenex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

You all have given me a lot to think about.

Does God really have faith? I may be oversimplifying, or mis remembering, but didn't Alma teach that once you gain a sure knowledge in a thing your faith is dormant which I took to mean that it was replaced by knowledge. If it is as simple as that then I would think God has no faith because he knows everything.

I can see that if it is faith we need to experience here then having the knowledge of our pre existence would prevent us experiencing faith if it is limited to being something not seen which is real. However if God does have faith and knows everything then once again I fail to see how we could not develop that same faith while having a knowledge of our pre existence.

I would think that everything else we could learn here with or without our memories of the pre existence.


I believe this quote may shed some light from Bruce R. McConkie,

Priesthood is power like none other on earth or in heaven. It is the very power of God himself, the power by which the worlds were made, the power by which all things are regulated, upheld, and preserved.

It is the power of faith, the faith by which the Father creates and governs. God is God because he is the embodiment of all faith and all power and all priesthood. The life he lives is named eternal life.

And the extent to which we become like him is the extent to which we gain his faith, acquire his power, and exercise his priesthood. And when we have become like him in the full and true sense, then we also shall have eternal life.



#16 ZionsRodeVos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

I have thought about this too. I think if we remembered the pre-existence, we would have a perfect knowledge. In the church, there are often greater consequences for certain sins when the member has been endowed. They are sinning with full knowledge of what they are doing wrong and after they have specifically made a covenant not to do those things. We don't receive our endowments until we are mature, have a greater understanding, and are ready to take those things on. Is it God's way of protecting us from greater condemnation?

If we had a perfect knowledge and remembered Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the whole plan, having a body would still be a huge trial and temptations would be strong. I also believe there wouldn't be a lot of growth because we would make our choices sometimes not because we really wanted to, but because we had to, like a child who follows rules unwillingly at home just because they don't want to lose privileges, not out of love for their parents.

To be in this state where we don't remember and choose on our own to seek Heavenly Father is pretty awesome.


If it is to protect us in the way you describe that makes sense. I don't think I've thought about it like that before.

I guess I am thinking about things in ways that are not helpful to me, such as viewing this life as one long test like the ones at school that I did not enjoy. I hear trial so much and often equate that to a test rather than thinking of it as a series of events to be experienced.

And having us gain these experiences with the least amount of risks to us and having a plan that provides us, with our premortal memories hidden from us, a way to get past everything and make it is very loving and kind. Now, I want to see if I can find scriptures that explain it in such a way.

Edited by ZionsRodeVos, 30 January 2013 - 01:37 PM.

Robert

#17 ZionsRodeVos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

I believe this quote may shed some light from Bruce R. McConkie,


I like that quote. From a talk he gave in April 1982.

The next question that came to mind is I wonder if there is time for one person to read all the prophets have ever said. I realize its likely not necessary for salvation, but each talk given packs so much information.
Robert

#18 Anddenex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

If it is to protect us in the way you describe that makes sense. I don't think I've thought about it like that before.

I guess I am thinking about things in ways that are not helpful to me, such as viewing this life as one long test like the ones at school that I did not enjoy. I hear trial so much and often equate that to a test rather than thinking of it as a series of events to be experienced.

And having us gain these experiences with the least amount of risks to us and having a plan that provides us, with our premortal memories hidden from us, a way to get past everything and make it is very loving and kind. Now, I want to see if I can find scriptures that explain it in such a way.


Romans 5: 1 - 10.

When considering these verses and the authors tribulations I believe these verses are all the more powerful.

Still trying to completely understand them myself, because I am not to fond of some of the tribulations I have had to endure, and yet, hindsight, they weren't to bad.

#19 Anddenex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

I like that quote. From a talk he gave in April 1982.

The next question that came to mind is I wonder if there is time for one person to read all the prophets have ever said. I realize its likely not necessary for salvation, but each talk given packs so much information.


Sure :) - Opportunity Costs, what does one give up in order to read all these talks. 1 hour a day, 365 days, finish one talk in 30 minutes (hypothetically speaking), thus you have 730 talks a person can read a year.

If we times that by 5 years, you should be pretty close, at least with regard to the records we currently lost.

As to the records, which are hid, lost, or a mystery -- unless revealed in our time, nope, no chance.

:)

#20 selek

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

To my (admittedly simple-minded) view of things, it boils down to this:

Which more accurately demonstrates my understanding of the subject material: an open-book test? Or closed-book?
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.




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